Five to watch at Augusta

Five of the best, from left: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Speith, Hideki Matsuyama and John Rahm

Five of the best, from left: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Speith, Hideki Matsuyama and John Rahm

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Who’s in with a better than average chance at the Masters.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Not since Tiger Woods in 2002 has the world 
No.1 emerged as Masters champion but, on the back of three straight wins – two of them WGCs – Johnson could be about to change that. Fourth last year and sixth in 2015, he is no longer just a big hitter.

RORY MCILROY: This will be McIlroy’s third attempt to complete a career Grand Slam, having finished fourth and tenth since setting up that opportunity. The Ulsterman probably won’t mind the spotlight being on others, notably Johnson and Jordan Spieth, heading into this event.

JORDAN SPIETH: But for a triple-bogey 7 at the 12th hole in last year’s final round, Spieth would be bidding for a third straight Green Jacket on this occasion. He has a mental challenge to overcome this time around but finishing 2-1-2 in three Augusta appearances is impressive.

HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: Twelve months ago, Matsuyama went out in the second-last group in the final round before finishing joint seventh. He has chalked up some big wins since then, including a WGC, and is in with a strong shout of becoming Japan’s first men’s major champion.

JOHN RAHM: You have to go back to Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 to find the last player to make a winning Masters debut, a feat achieved by just three men in total. But the way Rahm has been playing in his first full season on the PGA Tour suggests the 22-year-old Spaniard could re-write the record books.

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